Yesterday my husband was talking about his friend who was from Nagercoil (Tamilnadu). The friend was praising his home town so much that my husband wants to visit that place instead of visiting Coimbatore, which was our original plan.
I have read that Nagercoil city is an interesting place to visit, though not very popular like Kanyakumari and has got a pleasant climate throughout the year. Now, a revolution is happening there.
Normally, we think that these types of orders will not work in India, but it does, which is unbelievable. The people of Nagercoil have stopped using plastic in shops, hotels, hospitals, everywhere, it seems. Please read this article:
The writer, Lallu Joseph writes:
'A delightful surprise was in store for me a few weeks back when I went to Nagercoil to see my parents and also drop my children at their grandparent’s house for the summer vacation. On the way to a relative’s place, I stopped at a fruit shop. The shopkeeper packed the grapes in paper with lotus leaf and handed it over to me as such without putting it in the customary plastic bag. When I asked for a plastic carry bag, the shopkeeper told me that the use of plastic is banned in Nagercoil.
I was still sceptical as to how the ban would work. Maybe, because the shop was bang outside the collector’s office, the man was adhering to the order, I thought. But all my subsequent shopping expeditions revealed that plastic covers have indeed been banished from the town. Even more surprising was the fact that my mother and all my aunts had cloth bags in their cars, and no one was complaining about the ban or on the need to carry their own bags for shopping.
I became curious and started making enquiries. Everyone had good things to say about the efforts of the district administration. I was told that the district collector went in person to the business houses and convinced them on the need for banning plastic. The administration sent short messages on mobile phones highlighting the ban on non-degradable plastic items. Once the ban came into force, the administration formed 94 flying squads and raided shops, hotels and other commercial establishments to check on the use of non-biodegradable items.'
Even the famous tourist place Kanyakumari beach, which was normally used to be full of plastic bags, was looking very clean without a single plastic bag, he says.
I have read so many negative news about plastics - cows swallowing plastic bags from the garbage bins and dying, elephants in the forests en-route to Guruvayoor temple, dying after swallowing left over foods thrown by the devotees in plastic bags, etc. Plastics floating on water in roadside swamps...along with some birds, maybe fish, turtle, frogs etc....used to feel sorry for them. This news gives hope for the future. Maybe, if the government along with people, sincerely work together, our whole country might become a better place to live - for animals, birds and humans.
Our next trip is definitely, Nagercoil. I really admire the people over there.
I came across this article about non-toxic plastic, which looks like a dream. We are so used to using plastic for packing liquid things like chutney, saambaar etc. from hotels or covering things to keep them away from moisture etc., plastic has become an important material in our day-to-day life, nowadays. This non-toxic plastic sounds interesting.
Proper disposal and segregation of plastics would be better, I feel. Now, plastic is re-used for road-laying along with bitumin and I remember reading that some stretch of roads have already been laid in some university complexes and seem to be good.
Still, we can try to reduce the usage of plastic carry bags. The first step to be taken by us, is keeping a cloth bag in our handbags when we go to super markets or vegetable shops. Shall we start doing that?
This is a bit shocking but we have to know how we are polluting our forests and other parts of our mother earth (Thank you Cichus B):
Edited to add on 25th May, '10: The District Collector's comment